AFL Essendon Chairman Evans Confident Bombers Players Innocent In Doping Probe
Australian Football League club Essendon Chair David Evans has declared he is "more and more confident" his players were not administered illegal supplements last season, according to Jon Pierik of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. While "the joint Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority-AFL investigation into what went on under controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank continues," Evans used the release of an internal probe by former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski to reveal the club had turned to pharmacological experts Dr. Andrew Garnham and Professor Ross McKinnon for help. Evans said, "They have been advising the board for the last three months. We are getting more and more confident, as I said, about the solid safety profile and, indeed, the fact there was nothing banned that was given to our players" (SMH, 5/7). In Sydney, Richard Hinds opined this interpretation of events last year is not based on any real evidence because -- at least in the edited version released on Monday -- "there is not a great deal of that." Rather, as was its intent, the report deals with the notion of "good governance" and, more pertinently, the "failure in structures and accountability" (SMH, 5/6). In Melbourne, Pierik wrote Evans has apologized for the mess in which Essendon finds itself and "is prepared to step aside if he is not endorsed by club members" (THE AGE, 5/7).
CLOSING THE DOOR: In Sydney, Danny Weidler wrote Dank has "shut the door on a request to speak to the AFL integrity commission" -- and said that the complete lack of respect from the organiziation and its CEO Andrew Demetriou has ruined any chance of that happening. Dank "has ripped into the process that has been undertaken and taken a swipe" at ASADA and said that they have botched the process in the same way the AFL has. Dank said that "if the approach was different the result would have been different." Dank: ''Had the AFL rang me and said, 'Stephen, I think there may be a problem and I think we need to have a chat,' I would have been on the plane to Melbourne and said, 'OK boys, let's have a chat''' (SMH, 5/7).